02-06 Michael Lewis

LEWIS

HAVERHILL — On the eve of a superior court trial, Grafton County Attorney Martha Hornick dropped charges against former Bristol Police Chief Michael Lewis.

Lewis, who resides in Ashland, was facing three felony counts of theft by deception for allegedly filing false time sheets for overtime patrols that used New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency grants.

The indictments, handed up on June 15, 2018, allege that, on three occasions — between July and December 2012, between January 2013 and December 2014, and between January 2016 and December 2017 — Lewis falsely claimed overtime hours on time sheets he submitted for payment, each of them in excess of $1,500.

The Bristol Board of Selectmen placed Lewis on administrative leave on Sept. 5, 2017, and he resigned his position the following month, on Oct. 4. After his indictment, the selectmen said they had asked the New Hampshire Attorney General to investigate his use of the grant funds as a result of a review of internal personnel practices after Lewis’ departure.

The Grafton County Attorney’s Office confirmed that it was investigating allegations against Lewis in December 2017, and the indictments came six months later.

A jury had been selected on Monday, and the case was scheduled for trial today Wednesday, but then the charges were dropped.

Lewis still faces separate misdemeanor charges relating to an allegation that he grabbed a woman’s buttocks while on duty. A final pretrial hearing in that case is scheduled for Feb. 27.

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